Dear Partners in Mission:
On April 24th from 9am-3pm voting members from your congregations are invited to the Thirty Fourth annual assembly of the Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Synod, ELCA. This assembly will be an online event and your voting members need to register here by April 11. There is a small fee for registration to cover contracting for audio/visual cameras and sound along with other upgrades based on our learning from our fall 2020 assembly. Also our education portion of the assembly will feature Bishop Mike Girlinghouse speaking about his book Embracing God’s Future Without Forgetting the Past. This book has gained attention across denominational lines as it resonates with the tasks you have been entrusted with. Tasks that have and continue to change in our current context.
Our assembly theme, Entrusted: Servants of Christ and Stewards of God’s Mysteries, is drawn from 1 Cor. 4:1-2, “Think of us in this way, as servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.” Connecting to the promises given and made in baptism this theme reminds you that you have been entrusted not only with the message of the gospel, the most precious gift of all, but also with care for your neighbor and stewardship of God’s abundance in this world. In our assembly we will reflect on ways we have been faithful over the past year in our life together as synod as well as how together we will seek to be found trustworthy moving into the future.
As NT-NL you live into this theme Entrusted when…
- Congregational leaders prioritize health and safety of neighbors, moving online, wearing masks, sacrificing what you know, to ensure you are found trustworthy with your neighbors health.
- Pastors and lay leaders work to find creative ways to observe a second Lent and Easter in pandemic.
- Youth and family leaders seek new ways to connect, to serve and equip families to continue Christian Education in their homes.
- Lay leader education continues online through the Parish Lay Ministry Academy and Secondary School of Theological Education.
- When our full communion partners of the former Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth call, our congregations open doors and offer immediate sanctuary.
- You continue to give faithfully to your congregation’s financial needs and in turn pass along a portion of those gifts for our life together as synod.
- In the midst of a historic winter storm you call on one another, check on those who have been entrusted to you, and offer generous support to your synod’s disaster fund.
- When thousand of migrant young men are brought to the Dallas Convention center by FEMA, your Conferencia Latina responds to provide pastoral care.
We have been entrusted with a great many things. And as we give thanks for increasing numbers of vaccinations, hope on the horizon for fully coming back together in person, you also know that your lives, our lives, have been forever changed. And so this is a time for us to come together to reflect more deeply on how we can learn from this crisis and be found faithful in coming years. This is part of what Bishop Girlinghouse will invite us to explore together. Remembering the past, aware of all we have been Entrusted with, and recognizing that we are promised a hopeful future with God.
As you raise your palms this week and proclaim Hosanna! And begin the Holy Week that leads to the reason for our hope, God bless you as you participate in this old, old story that we have been Entrusted to share.